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 Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
 Post Date:  04/10/2011
 Date Climbed:   04/09/2011
 Posted By:  epende

 We nearly reached the summit!   

We started out from the winter TH at 0530, and had reached the summer TH by 0645. Snow shoes were not necessary on this part, but spikes would help some.

At the summer TH we put on the snowshoes and they aided our progress greatly. The trail was not visible because of deep snow, but it was still easy to find the general route. Once we reached the south foot of Kelso, we found the official trail and went without snowshoes for awhile.

The weather was fantastic most of the way: blue skies, 30 degrees, calm winds. We even got hot in certain places. A few light, breathable layers with a hat and insulated underwear worked well. We did not need snow pants at all.

Once we reached 12,500 or so, the winds kicked up and we put on balaclavas and ski goggles to protect against blowing snow. As you would expect, the wind increased greatly as we approached the summit, until there were regular gusts that knocked us over a few times.

Nearing 13,000, put snowshoes on for the rest of the trail. The trail was fairly visible, but snow packed. At just over 14,000 we decided to turn back because the altitude was affecting us. Wanting to get down quickly, we glissaded down the snow covered side of Grays to the basin at 12,600'. We used trekking poles and an ice axe to control the descent. The hike back seemed to take forever, but it was a fun day and everyone came back in one piece.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (1)
Michael York


nice     2011-04-11 00:25:47
nice attempt, that road up to the summer TH is a real pain... careful with those trekking poles, lessons have been learned the hard way... Nice pics, I'm sure you'll get it next time!



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